Renaissance Theaterworks (RTW) opens its 2011-12 mainstage season with GORGONS by Don Nigro. Drew Brhel will make his Renaissance directing debut with this play featuring Marcella Kearns and RTW Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director Jennifer Rupp. Running October 14 - November 6, 2011 at the Studio Theatre, 158 N. Broadway, tickets can be purchased for $34 in person at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office, by telephone at (414) 291-7800, or online at www.r-t-w.com. Tickets go on sale September 1, 2011.
Ruth and Mildred are bitter rivals. They've been fighting over roles and men throughout their long, once-glamorous, silver-screen careers. It's the 1960s now, and the two seasoned starlets are past their prime and fighting to keep some celebrity status alive. The chance to do so comes in a campy, low-budget horror film called Gorgons. Big egos and desperation collide as the two women battle it out in their attempt to portray two insane, homicidal sisters. Think Bette Davis and Joan Crawford duking it out on the set of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Pretty entertaining, right? Absolutely. It's a perfectly wicked comedy just in time for Halloween.
Drew Brhel happily returns to Renaissance Theaterworks, having directed THESE SHINING LIVES and performed in various other play readings over the past few years. Drew divides his professional career more or less evenly between directing and acting these days... plays he has directed in the past include MEASURE FOR MEASURE and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Milwaukee Shakespeare); WHO'S AFRAID OF Virginia Woolf? (Bialystock & Bloom); THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH (Windfall); MOM'S THE WORD (In Tandem); RUMORS and THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (Carroll University); NORMA, CENDRILLON, and THE MAGIC FLUTE (Milwaukee Opera); and THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, DON GIOVANNI, THE MAGIC FLUTE, DIDO AND AENEAS, and THE GONDOLIERS (Opera ala Carte). Meanwhile, Drew has appeared over the past twenty-five years with just about every theatre in town. Favorite roles include Bobchinsky in THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR and Fezziwig and Topper in A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Milwaukee Repertory); Herr Biedermann in THE FIREBUGS and Emil in THREE VIEWINGS (Next Act); Sterling in MAURITIUS, Porfiry in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT and Richard Greatham in HAY FEVER (Milwaukee Chamber); and Herr Schultz in CABARET (Skylight Opera); as well as roles with First Stage, Windfall, In Tandem, Nevermore, and Cornerstone. He is also an eight season veteran of American Players Theatre, and has appeared in Shakespeare festivals from coast to coast.
Marcella Kearns (Mildred) is a Milwaukee-based actor, teaching artist, and coach. In the Midwest, she has appeared with First Stage Children's Theater, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, In Tandem Theatre, goats & monkeys, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, and Milwaukee Repertory Theater; outside the region, she has worked with Studio Arena Theatre, Chamber Repertory Theatre, and Texas Repertory Theatre. She serves as a teaching artist with First Stage, Milwaukee Rep, and What You Will. Marcy holds an MFA from the University of South Carolina and completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Vienna, Austria.
Jennifer Rupp (Ruth) is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Renaissance Theaterworks. As an actress, her credits include productions with Renaissance Theaterworks, Next Act Theatre, First Stage, Bialystock & Bloom, Boulevard Ensemble, Milwaukee Dance Theatre, Madison Repertory, and Children's Theater of Madison. Ms. Rupp is a co-creator of the RED PEPPER JELLY musicals, original shows written and performed by local Milwaukee artists and produced by RTW. Ms. Rupp also works with her husband as the Business Manager for ComedySportz Milwaukee.
Julie Swenson (Producer), Judy Martel (Stage Manager), Joseph A. Brhel (Set Design), Holly Blomquist (Lighting Design), Corey Lubowich (Costume Design), Paul Hurley (Sound Design), Dana Fralick (Prop Design).
Tickets to GORGONS are $34 for all performances. Tickets are available through The Broadway Theatre Center box office by calling (414) 291-7800 or online at www.r-t-w.com. All performances are at The Studio Theatre, 158 N. Broadway. Monday, October 17, 2011 will be the Pay-What-You-Can performance at 7:30 p.m. (Tickets for the October 17 performance will be available at the door at 6:30 p.m. No phone-in orders or advanced sales will be accepted for the Pay-What-You-Can performance.)